The first half sovereigns struck under King Edward VII were struck in 1902 following His Majesty's coronation. This series was the fifth half sovereign series to be struck at Australian mints.
This design is slightly larger than the Type I reverse and shows the designer's initials, B.P. Marsh refers to the 1904 Perth also being sighted with this reverse, however, I have not come across any (Marsh, M, A, 2004) .
The entire Edward VII run is very difficult to acquire beyond
The Perth Mint types are the scarcest, with the 1908 Perth being very difficult to source beyond EF and the 1909 Perth also being very scarce in such grades. The 1906 Melbourne and 1907 Melbourne half sovereigns are also quite rare in mint state, though they do turn up from time to time.
One of the Melbourne Mint obverse master dies has a
The average grade in the series is EF though 1908 and 1910 Sydney half sovereigns do often turn up in AU, while the 1906 Melbourne is generally found in VF to EF, frequently with a better reverse.
The Perth Mint struck under 100,000 half sovereigns during 1908 and 1909 making the two types among the rarest Australian mint half sovereign issues. The 1908 Perth is known by about 500 examples while the 1909 Perth is known by around 750. Both years are extremely difficult to acquire beyond EF with the 1909 being slightly more common. The average grade for both types is slightly below VF, but examples from VF to good VF turn up from time to time. Both years are often seen with weakly struck reverses, though the reverse generally tends to grade close to a full grade higher than the obverse. The finest two examples of the 1908 Perth at the Reserve Bank sale were graded EF, while the finest 1909 Perth was graded Uncirculated.
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